Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas’ Pinot Noir picks for winter


young happy women laughing, holding glass of red wine. Females warming next to the fire. Campfire, outdoors activities concept.
young happy women laughing, holding glass of red wine. Females warming next to the fire. Campfire, outdoors activities concept.
There’s nothing quite like a glass or two of pinot noir to warm your insides during the cooler months. Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas has shared his top picks for the best pinot noir to savour during winter.
  • Astrolabe Wrekin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019, Marlborough – Ripe, intense, fruity, varietal and complex. Aromas of dark cherry and plum layered between aromas of oak spices and toasty barrel. Vanilla, cedar and clove, velvet roses and a savoury clay stone minerality. Delicious on the palate with flavours of dark berries, wood and spices that reflect the nose. Firm tannins needing some cellar time to settle in, plenty of acidity and pate texture. A lovely wine best enjoyed with food or on its own from late 2022 through 2029. RRP $65.00
  • Carrick Organic Pinot Noir 2018, Bannockburn, Central Otago – Very enticing bouquet with aromas of ripe red berry fruits, warm clay, silty chalk soil scents, sweet French oak barrel with mild toasty wood smoke aromas, wild red flower and raspberry. Equally complex on the palate with flavours of red berries and spicy plum, mineral soils and barrel spices of toasty wood. Firm tannins and acidity enhance a savoury complexity adding mouthfeel and length. Youthful and still developing, but drinking well now especially with food. Ideal drinking window from 2022 through 2028. RRP $45.00
  • Akarua RUA Pinot Noir 2020, Central Otago – Aromas of plump, ripe red cherries, dark roses, brown baking spics and red currant. Mild French oak scents of vanilla and bacon, a whisper of clove and toasted barrel. Fleshy red berry fruit centric flavours on the palate with cherries and red apple, raspberry and plum. Moderate tannin presence with a firm youthful texture, medium+ acidity and fruit flavours that mirror the nose. Delicious, fresh, youthful and tasty example. A great by the glass option in restaurants and well suited to a variety of cuisines. Best drinking from 2021 through 2025+. RRP $25
  • Villa Maria The Attorney Pinot Noir 2017, Marlborough – This is a certified Bio-gro organic example and it’s sensational. Aromas of complexity and bottle integration with scents of dark berries and mineral, stones and baking spices, smoke and dried herb, dark cherry and a quiet yet complex savoury core. On the palate – youthful, dry, poised for more ageing, fruit and mineral centric with a toasty barrel spice savoury complexity. Firm tannins and plenty of acidity ensure along with berry fruits and varietal core ensure a strong foundation for ageing much longer. Best drinking from today and through 2027+. RRP $60.99
  • Framingham Pinot Noir 2019, Marlborough – Fantastic colour and brightness with intense varietal bouquet showcasing aromas of dark cherry and forest berries, toasty baking spices, violet and plum then dark rose. On the palate – dry and complex with a core of red berries and flowers, flavours of smoky wood intertwined with violets and plums, dark cherries and brown spices. Firm tannins, plenty of acidity and a lengthy finish. So much to like about this wine. Best drinking from 2022 through 2028. RRP$ 29.99
  • Forager Pinot Noir 2019, North Canterbury – Aromas of earth and stone, a silty limestone moment, dark cherry and plum, a core of savoury complexity and fruit. Varietal, intense and pure. On the palate – complex, fruity, tens, youthful and dry. Flavours of fruit and soil reflect the bouquet and are in harmony with firm tannins and acidity to provide a foundation and baseline for ageing. Oak aromas and flavours add finesse complexity. Pure, youthful, taut and complex. Best drinking from 2022 through 2028+. RRP$75.00


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